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Manipur observes 31st Manipuri Language Day; Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren thanks and praises all those involved in the movement for inclusion of Manipuri Language in the 8th Schedule of India

Manipur observed the 31st Manipuri Language Day today. Various assoications observed the day commemorating this day in history when the "Meiteilon", officially known as Manipuri Language was included in the 8th Schedule of India. Manipur Language Day State Level Celebration Committee in collaboration with the Department of Art & Culture, Government of Manipur and Directorate of Language Planning and Implementation, Manipur organised the state level observance at Chandrakirti Auditorium in Palace Compound, Imphal.

Addressing the State Level observance, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren praised and thanked all those who were involved in the movement for inclusion of the Manipuri Language in the 8th Schedule of India. He stressed on the need to educate the younger and future generations of Manipur's history, nationalism, nation-building concept, the obstacles faced by the forefathers, etc. He appealed to all intellectuals, scholars and historians of the State to do the needed research and to publish their work based on truth and facts to safeguard, protect the indigenous land, identity and language. The Chief Minister also proposed a three-month course sponsored by the Planning Department for those willing to study the dialects and languages of the different communities of the State like Manipuri, Tangkhul, Khongsai, Thadou etc. Assuring that State Government will provide stipends to those who are willing to take the course, N. Biren added that Education Minister Thounaojam Basantakumar and Language Director have been instructed to do the needful. The chief Minster handed over Certificates of Appreciation to representatives of 17 different organisations who were part of the Celebration Committee on the occasion.

Wakhal Manaba Apunba, WAMA Kangleipak also observed the 31st Manipuri Language Day at Manipur Press Club. Speaking at the event, Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba said he has already submitted a written request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include "Meitei Mayek" in recruitment examinations conducted by Union Public Service Commission, UPSC and other civil services recruitment examinations, as well as to open a Centre in Imphal for the conduction of UPSC Mains Examination. Titular King Leishemba Sanajaoba said he could not raise the matter in the recent Parliament Session as the Session ended abruptly due to uproars by the Opposition. He stressed the need to open a Language Ministry in the state to preserve and promote Manipuri Language. Leishemba Sanajaoba also said he will urge the government to provide scholarship to students learning Manipuri language whose mother tongues are not Manipuri. The Rajya Sabha MP even expressed his desire to urge the Union Aviation Minister to train flight attendants flying on Imphal Route to speak in Manipuri language apart from English and Hindi.

Meetei Eyek Erol Loinasillon Apunba Lup, MEELAL in association with Democratic Student Alliance of Manipur, DESAM observed the ‘Manipuri Language Day’ at a humble function held in front of the Kanglapat. Speaking at the event, DESAM President, Leishangthem Lamyanba Meetei espressed worry that inclusion of Manipuri Language in the 8th Schedule will remain useless without a Manipuri Language Policy. He said, DESAM and MEELAL have decided to submit another memorandum to the Government to establish Government run Manipuri Medium Elementary Schools, Higher Secondary Schools, District Institutes of Education and Colleges. While, Y.K.College Wangjing observed the day by holding a day-long National Seminar on "New Approaches to Manipuri Language, Literature, Folklore And Culture". Professors and research scholars of Assam, Manipur University and various colleges of Manipur presented papers on Manipuri language, literature, folklore and culture during the seminar. Patriotic Writers' Forum Manipur also observed Manipuri Language Day at Manipur Press Club and Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Jiribam observed the Day at Jiri Ima Meira Paibi Apunba Lup (JIMPAL) office in Jiibam's Babupara with the participation of eminent personalities.

Manipur has been observing language day for more than 30 years now. Many assurances have been made and measures have been discussed to preserve and promote the language. However, it is saddening that even after 30 years, there is neither a separate Language Ministry nor a Language Policy and the State Language Planning and Implementation Board is dying a natural death due to lack of dedicated and adequate staff, funds and infrastructure. Over and above, preserving the language should be everyone's responsibility. 

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